Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

“In 2007, more than 290 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic crashes across America during the Fourth of July holiday period, second only to New Year’s Day with respect to impaired driving-related traffic fatalities. Of those, 254 fatalities involved a driver, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or bicyclist with a BAC level of .08 and higher  the illegal limit in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Today, Sheriff R. Gery Hofmann, III announced that he is joining with other national, state and local law enforcement and highway safety officials in working overtime this year to remind those planning to celebrate Independence Day with alcohol that “”Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving,”” and to always remember to designate a sober driver before the celebrations begin.

“”Many people still don’t understand that alcohol or drugs and driving don’t mix. Impaired driving is no accident–nor is it a victimless crime. Too many lives are being lost needlessly and we need everyone’s help to stop it,”” said State Highway Administrator and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative, Mr. Neil J. Pedersen.

Drunk driving continues to be one of Maryland’s deadliest problems. Greater than 36 percent of Maryland’s traffic fatalities involved alcohol or drug impairment in 2007. Of the State’s 238 alcohol-related deaths, more than 190 fatalities had a BAC of .08 or higher.

“”We are asking everyone to help us get the word out that buzzed driving is indeed drunk driving and that the ‘just one more for the road’ attitude too often turns into disaster without the designation of a sober driver,”” said Sheriff Hofmann.

In addition to posing a deadly threat to automobile drivers, alcohol plays a major role in Maryland’s motorcycle fatalities, affecting those skills essential to operate a motorcycle — balance and coordination. In 2007, approximately 33 percent of the 85 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes had alcohol in their system.

Much of the tragedy from drunk driving can be prevented with a few simple precautions before going out to celebrate:

“” Whenever you plan on using alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys; “” If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely; “” Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement; “” While traveling to and from celebrations on your motorcycle, remember to make yourself visible and ride your motorcycle where you can be seen to avoid a crash; “” If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely; and “” Wearing your seat belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver.

Don’t let this Fourth of July blow up in your face. Remember Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. Designate your sober driver before the celebrations begin.

For more information, please visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org”

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Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

“From now until New Year’s Day, we are approaching the most dangerous time of the year due to an increase in impaired driving. With office parties and family get-togethers, some people involve alcohol and then make a poor decision to drive. You should continue your concerns about the safe travel along our roadways as we approach this holiday season.

During 2007, our county experienced 13 fatalities on our roadways, in which alcohol was involved in many of them, some that involved motorist with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. This year we have already experienced 8 fatal crashes with two very busy months left. That’s why local law enforcement has joined with National, State and local highway safety officials to remind everyone who will be celebrating that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving and to never forget to plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

“”The consumption of alcohol, drugs and driving just don’t mix,”” said Terry Ober, Traffic Safety Coordinator. “”Whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk of killing yourself or someone else. Don’t ever get behind a wheel of a vehicle when you are impaired.”” Following these easy steps, a driver can enjoy a safe and festive holiday without jeopardizing their life and the lives of the others who may be on the road: § Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin; § Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and give that person your keys; § If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely; § If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement; § And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

“”Saving lives on our roads is a top priority and we need everyone’s help to do it,”” said Lt. Boardman, State Police Commander. “”Don’t let this holiday include an arrest–or even worse, a death. Sheriff Gery Hofmann reminds you to “”make smart decisions. Plan ahead, so you can assure a safe way home. Law enforcement will be looking for impaired drivers.”” Whether you’ve had way too many or just one too many, it’s not worth the risk”” advises Chief Joseph Pignataro, Centreville Police Department.”

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